When we are undergoing consistent exercise, it’s vitally important to eat well as often as you can. Essentially, you want to eat as much as possible whilst still achieving your goals. This will give you the best chance of keeping up good energy levels, good exercise performance, good health and remain on track to achieve your goals.
We’ve all heard it: “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet!”
And, it’s completely true! In order to eat your best, you need to cook at home more often, and eat more fresh food.
However, I hear the same issue from most people, which is that they feel healthy foods are too expensive. As a result they often opt for ingredients that are second rate and less likely to help them really achieve their goals.
So, how can you make the most of each trip to the supermarket and save both time and cash?
Ideally, you want to try and pack as much good, healthy food into your grocery cart as possible. But, as many of us know, the price of good food is often not on the cheap side!
So, how do we afford a healthy trip to the supermarket without spending a fortune?
Below we have compiled a great list of ideas to help you meet your goal and actually enjoy what you’re buying too!
Eating healthy does not have to make you go bankrupt, but instead, can make you wealthy with good health and stamina.
Start with THE most important ingredients: fresh vegetables and fruits.
Vegetables are the mac daddy when it comes to improving your health and physique. They’re low in calories, high in nutrients and provide us with HUGE amounts of nutrition. They provide us with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. All of which our bodies need to really thrive and function at its best, whilst essentially you can eat vegetables until you almost burst, and you’ll likely still lose weight.
Items like spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, peppers, carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, oranges, and bananas are excellent additions to a fit, fabulous diet.
In order to begin saving a little bit of money you don’t have to buy popular avocados, aubergine, or sweet potatoes organically but instead, you can purchase them in their less expensive, non-organic form and/or from a reduced price shop.
Another little tip: If you’re not sure about whether an item is “OK” to buy in non-organic form, a good rule of thumb is this: if it has a thick, dense peel that you DO NOT eat, like bananas, oranges, or melons, it’s generally fine to buy non-organic.
The rest you should try to get organic – like apples, berries, celery and spinach.
REMEMBER! If you don’t like the idea of spending more on organic produce, just think of how much the pro’s of buying them outweigh the con’s – the benefits of the antioxidants in the fruits and veggies will outweigh the deleterious effects of the added chemicals, for the most part.
ALWAYS check the ‘Reduced to Clear’ Section.
The ‘Reduced to Clear’ Sections are always a great place to pick up some great bargains on some great ingredients, all just because they about to go out of date.
In our household we can eat spinach like a rabbit, so being close to its due date isn’t an issue and only need to toss a few slightly slimy leaves. No biggie.
Saving on a veggie like spinach goes a long way as it can be incorporated into many snacks and meals including smoothies, omelettes, salads, sautéed veggies, and more!
Finding these kind of ingredients with some big savings can really help bring the cost down of your shopping trip and a great way to fill your tummy with amazing greens that provide us with such good nutrition!
Look for these kinds of deals when shopping, especially if you know you will eat it quickly.
Have a look at what is in season.
Despite being extremely healthy and really conducive to helping improve our physique, one of the biggest offenders to seasonal eating is buying berries in the winter… you’ll pay almost double and you can be sure that it’s been trucked thousands of miles to get to your store.
This is where it can be handy to have a look at what your local farmer has in store.
This is not only less expensive, but these foods will have a higher vitamin and mineral content, because they are real, authentic local produce.
And, they will taste WAY better too!
If you need ideas for local farm stands near you, check out www.localfoods.org.uk
You can also use this to learn what items are in season, they often provide recipes so you know what to do with them as well – very cool!
In the winter, when most produce is not in season, choose frozen, untainted fruits and vegetables (no butter, sugar, etc).
Frozen produce is very fresh and doesn’t spoil – it’s good for people who may not eat those foods right away, even in the summer.
It also lasts a long time and can be kept in the freezer until you need it.
When using the microwave to heat up or cook your veggies, use a Pyrex glass dish. But, ideally, cook them on the stove in minimal water.
Buy in bunches.
When you buy things in pre-packed bunches, then it can start to bring your cost down. You will see that the price per item is cheaper when bought in a bunch than when they are bought individually.
This means you can buy in bulk with a bit more cost effectiveness.
No matter how strapped you are for time, avoid pre-cut items, like cut apples, squash, and corn.
Not only is this more expensive, but it usually is preserved with chemicals to prevent browning, and these chemicals may not be great for you.
Compare the price of the item per weight.
Compare the price of items using labels that tell you the cost per weight.
This is a great way to price compare using the volume/weight of the food to get the best deal!
Most stores have this option, so use it when you can.
Buy your meat, fish, fowl and eggs free-range and organic whenever possible.
But, when this is really pricey, or not possible, choose natural items with as few added ingredients as possible (avoiding nitrates and added sodium). Also, buying in bulk (large quantities) and cooking in batches will help you save money and time.
Batch cooking on the weekends (especially protein items) is a really good habit to get into. Just so you’re never left without good food choices, or are pressured to eat something you don’t really want.
Cooking ahead of time saves you precious time, but saves your health too.
Finally – make your shopping list based off recipes/meals you plan to eat for the week.
Jotting down a meal plan for the week can keep you accountable to using the food you have in the fridge, saving you money by ensuring you eat what you purchase.
This is not only time efficient, but prevents you from buying things you MIGHT make, but don’t get around to, and end up throwing away.
Don’t hesitate to buy something that’s on sale for an outstanding price and modify your plan for the week so you can save cash.
I hope these tips have helped you as much as they have helped me.
Eating healthy is not as pricey as it used to be and there are so many ways to save. Enjoy!